I just finished reading Floyd McClung’s book “Living On The Devil’s Doorstep” and if you haven’t read it, you have to!
Not wanting to give away the entire book for anyone who wants to read it, There a few things about this family’s story that made me stop and re-evaluate my life and what I was doing with it.
Being a mom and a wife made me made this story much more hard hitting for me. When the McClungs had children who were about the same as age my children are now, they moved into a house in the middle of the Red Light District in Amsterdam, to start a ministry among the prostitutes, pimps and drug addicts. They had a satanist temple next door and a brothel as their other neighbor. Picture perfect – all they needed was a picket fence right? 🙂 Not exactly a place I would be comfortable taking my family to visit, never mind to live. Their children used to walk past the prostitutes sitting in the windows on the way to school and greet them BY NAME. They had drug addicts showing up all hours of the day and night on their doorstep, desperate for help and they were never turned away. For many of the people embroiled in the sex-driven, drug addicted culture of the area, Floyd and his family were the example of Jesus they had, the only lifeline they had to the Saviour and if you read the book, you’ll read about the hardships and struggles that calling brings.
A few things hit home about this family and about our God:
1: All of us – every single one of us – are broken. I’m too quick to judge a prostitute for example and look down my nose and assume I’m better than they are. Like everyone born on this planet, God created them and formed them and knows them intimately. My sin or struggles might not be as public as theirs, but that doesn’t mean that I’m better off than they are.
2: What you do, the sin you commit, doesn’t define who you are. This is why the McClungs insisted on learning the names of all the girls in the windows. They didn’t want to label the girls as PROSTITUTES, or THE GIRL IN THE BUILDING NEXT DOOR, SECOND WINDOW ON THE RIGHT. Calling the girls by name meant they had their own identity, their own story, their own struggles and their own individual importance to the Saviour. That beggar at the robot isn’t just A BEGGAR – he’s a person with a name, a story and an identity in Jesus.
3: Just because they don’t acknowledge Him, doesn’t mean He loves them any less. What’s the best way to show them that Jesus loves them? By me loving them the way He would – inspite of everything. There is no sin that Jesus’s blood doesn’t wash away and there is no life too far gone, that He can’t fix and they won’t know that, unless I get take my gloves off, I’m ready to get involved in their lives, warts and all and be Jesus to them.
4: I SEVERELY underestimate the power my family can have in changing the world around us, when we’re walking in the will of God. And that includes my kids. Floyd talks in the book of break throughs they had with some of the girls because of their small kids, who wouldn’t hesitate in hugging them, in making things for them at school and dropping them off at their windows. God can use anyone, NO MATTER WHAT AGE, to bring someone to a little closer to Him.
5: The power of a praying couple is something that God uses to change nations, but it starts with a husband and wife team willing to step out in faith, even at the risk of their and their children’s safety, knowing they are doing the will of God. Floyd and Sally had both prayed and felt God calling them to where they were, even though as an outsider, it looked like a pretty horrendous place to take a young family. God doesn’t call PERFECT people – He calls PRAYING people! God may be calling my family to somewhere that could stretch us… Am I open to that? Right now, I would say far from it. My life is way too comfortable and way too safe, but then how is that kinda life impacting the world for Jesus?
If I call myself a Christian, and I trust with all my heart that God can do the impossible, why would I not do the same as what they did and go to where He leads, no matter the cost?
It’s been said – “The will of God will never take you, where the grace of God will not protect you.” My dad always tells me that the longest journey is from your head to your heart. While I would totally and utterly believe that statement in my head, when it came to crunch time and my number came up, would I trust in that with all my heart and give God the opportunity to use me and/or my family for His glory, BUT on His terms?
I’m praying the journey from my head to my heart gets shorter everyday.